Sometimes, you can’t think of a thing to write. I know this happens to me.
Sometimes, you can’t think of something worthwhile for a long time, and this happened to me and this blog. Not really one thing in particular, but rather a cascading series of events in the past year or so left me exhausted and uninspired, at least as far as blog posts go.
I thought I should acknowledge that if not explain it away, because nobody wants to hear specifics.
Good news is that I’m back! I took a train trip in late spring this year; a 30 day rail pass. I have some pix and some video which I’ll share from those, so look for them. Soon! I promise.
Here’s a tease, I thought this was an arty shot:
In the Sunset Limited in LA’s Union Station, waiting for the train to leave.
We made it! In front of the Jalisco State Government Building in GDL
Seems like he’s beckoning.
Detail GDL Cathedral
Stone Eagle Monument in GDL.
I like the color. We had Birria while in GDL.
Chandelier in Tlaquepaque.
I liked this building, it’s a magic shop.
In front of Vicente Fernandez’s ranch.
With Mexican Superstar Vicente Fernandez.
Mexican History mural in Chapala.
Blogger in front of the mural.
Dave Arnold and I at Chapala (Ajijic)
Plaza Photo GDL.
Old School in Tlaquepaque.
Me and masks. Must have been that insomnia day!
Wires, building, door, rails.
Historic Center shot.
Mariachi Band in the Plaza.
A little bit of found gay on a sidestreet.
It was fashion week in GDL. Literally.
On the corner.
Green detail of building.
Dave in front of one of the plaza fountains.
Some big ass doors on that church.
Flower lane in Chapala.
This is beauty School, GDL style.
At the Cafe Madrid, GDL.
Three Mexican ladies and their ice cream in Tlaquepaque.
More of the mural in Chapala.
Another Plaza fountain shot.
Courtyard of the Hotel Morales, GDL
Cathedral Night shot
Another plaza view.
Vicente Fernandez’s guitar-shaped pool.
Building detail, GDL.
Stations of the Cross lit up with little lights, Tlaquepaque.
My future patio! In Tlaquepaque.
AA in GDL, next to the Michoacana.
Who? Oh, my brother David and I. To see it. Because I wanted to go to Mexico. Because it was his birthday. Because I was interested in seeing Lake Chapala, where large numbers of U.S. expatriates go. It’s pretty there, not sure it would be too stimulating. Chapala, that is. Perhaps you bring your own stimulation. Affordable most definitely.
So, to answer the question, is it safe to go to Guadalajara? I can answer that. Yes, it was fine. The scariest thing that happened to me over the course of our short, 4 night stay was that one night I had trouble sleeping. I have insomnia sometimes; I can hardly blame that on Mexico. (That damn Obama!)
The people we met there were lovely and they were POLITE. They had MANNERS. I’m not talking just about service people at hotels or restaurants, but people on the street. Imagine that, what a concept! Someone’s mama raised that country right. OK, there were dark alleys, I wouldn’t rush to venture down. There were lots of insanely armed police and security guards all over. I wouldn’t confront them. If you have a modicum of the usual street sense that you’d need in any place like L.A., NY, Chicago, New Orleans, etc., you’d feel pretty safe in Guadalajara. Don’t let the scaredy cat warnings you find on social media and from the state department frighten you. If you’re not going to confront the government of Mexico or the drug cartels, my opinion is, it’s as safe or safer than living in a place like I do, Los Angeles, where really bad things happen to people every day.
OK, end rant. Now for the pictures. I like taking pictures of buildings and parts of buildings, always wondering what is behind the walls, who built the building, who lives there or works there, what their lives are like, etc. So some of these are likely moody that way. Since I live in a place where everything is always new and very dry, old and weathered and moldy (as in lots of humidity) always fascinates me. So enjoy. I will comment on some of the photos directly.
UPDATE October 16 2015 – I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that the Guadalajara area can be dangerous to your health if you’re a member of a cartel or the military or the police. Less than a week after our return, this article on an arrest appeared in the L.A. Times.
Here, this post from Best and Worst Places to Retire from WalletHub. There’s a lot of these best/worst lists around the internets, mostly of them total B.S. from what I can tell, as most of them come up with horrid small poor towns that no one actually would want to live in. This one however, seems a bit more comprehensive in that it lists the top 150 cities that scored on its metrics of affordability, activities, quality of life and health care.
So, since there’s 150 choices, and the city you are presently in is likely to be listed here. A lot of the usual suspects rank high, those sunbelt places in states like Florida and Arizona. It also comes as no surprise that of the top 25 cities in this list, only one is in a “blue” state — and that happens to be Colorado Springs at #20 — which, as you probably know, is a very conservative city in a state with more liberal leanings. It’s no secret that in the big cities where progressives dominate, cost of living is high and taxes are generally higher, too. (It’s called civilization.)
The first city on the list from California is my birth town, Sacramento, at #38. Los Angeles ranks at #95. Other places I’m thinking about: Madison, #68; Tucson #29; Milwaukee, #119. There’s a lot to look at.
Still, there are actually cities on this list you might want to live in, where you wouldn’t be the sole Democrat on your block and where you might find a gay bar or two. So take a look — even though in their criteria for activity rankings they looked at things like fishing opportunities and golf courses — like this is a retirement thing. Not sure that it is — I know no one who does either thing. To be it seems more like a retirement stereotype from the 1950s.
Since I don’t need the fishing hole, perhaps that widens up the choice list!
“Escape from Los Angeles” is a series of new blog posts. I’m definitely on my journey to discover the next chapter of my life. Blogging about it was suggested by a regular reader of my blog (thank you, Rowan M!)
I’ve written a couple of times before about possibly leaving Los Angeles, here and here.
Probably one of the first things to determine is to decide if this (leaving Los Angeles) is really necessary or not. If it makes sense or not. My mother was always a believer in a “bloom where you’re planted” philosophy and I, as a man who has been sober for over 25 years, am always sensitive to the idea of doing “geographics.”*
So instead of seeing the cup as half empty (which is my default, as a pessimist) I’m trying, at least for a while, to see the cup as half full. Hence, gratitude lists: Every day I’ll write down 3 things in the morning that are working, three things that I’m grateful for for Los Angeles.
I’ll continue to write down my gratitude for L.A. as long as I feel this is productive. Who knows what I’ll find?
geographic, or doing a geographic. Wherever you go, there you are. You always take you with you. A geographic is moving somewhere following the thinking that this move will result in happier or more productive outcomes, i.e., it’s the place that sucks, not me; if I move, I will be happy and successful, etc. It never works.
UPDATE August 19:
Here’s a couple of other stories on the subject – apparently it’s all in the zeitgeist: